59th Minute of the 11th Hour for Health Reform
It’s the 59th minute of the 11th hour. The only path to national health care reform is to pass the Senate bill. Unless Nancy Pelosi and the House leadership can herd three distinct groups of cats — the Blue Dogs, the Stupak coat-hanger crowd and the progressives — HCR is going down in flames, quite possibly for another generation.*
This is where we’re at. It sucks. It also blows, a seemingly self-canceling phenomena that is only witnessed in the rarest, most ass-tasting conditions. And we are witnessing such conditions this very day — a perfect storm of sucking and blowing.
That said, if passing the Senate bill verbatim is a once-in-a-lifetime Suckicane meeting a Category 5 Blowphoon head-on, then NOT PASSING ANYTHING AT ALL takes us into the Bruckheimer-Emmerich territory of summer blockbuster-class suckstinction-level blowvents.
Again, not passing anything at all is a defeat of epic proportions. This cannot be stressed enough. Ask yourself if, in nine months time, when GOP Congressional gains have eliminated the possibility of rebooting HCR for years, you will be happy that at least the Senate bill didn’t pass. Ask yourself the same question, only now it’s 10 or 15 years in the future, and you are toiling away at another long-haul, uphill process towards reform, faced with the same entrenched opposition and the next generation of teabagging nitwits at every turn. Ask yourself how smart you will feel when you turn to your now-grown kid and tell him or her that back in 2009 you helped take HCR through the muck and slime of a year of hell to within inches of the finish line, and got bupkis as a result.
All the reasons liberals are very, very angry about this are absolutely valid. We’ve played the battered wives to the vainglorious douchebags in the Senate Club For Ass time and again throughout this whole nasty process, making concession after concession to the likes of Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu. It’s very, very tempting to finally say, enough is enough, you cannot pass.